If you knew me when I first started CrossFit, you know how much I have changed physically and mentally since. If you didn’t, here’s my story. I’m not telling this story for sympathy, bragging purposes, or to make you do things the way I do. I’m telling this testimony so that maybe you can realize one of your coaches never had it all together. And that maybe you can find light of a situation that you might find yourself in regarding fitness or just life.
I came into college at the University of Missouri leaving behind a confident, happy, outgoing girl. A girl who thrived off of the competition and leadership roles in athletics. As I adapted to the college scene, I lost that girl more and more.
I became timid.
I had never gave up fitness or weight lifting coming into college, as it was a part of who I was for years and years prior. Although I never gave it up, I was going through the motions and wanted nothing in my life but to look like a famous physique competitor. I hired a bodybuilding coach and we got right to it. I rewired the way I ate and trained the exact way he had told me to. Food began to overtake every thought in my head. If I didn’t eat healthy, I would feel guilty and even worse about myself.
There was no competition in my life anymore. I would send progress pictures disgusted with the way I had looked. Never trusting the plan. I got frustrated and when I saw myself 20lbs heavier than I had been graduating high school, I gave up.
I was embarrassed.
I quit working with that coach and started a horrible habit of binge eating. Not the binge eating we all sometimes do on the weekends with friends, but the type to make myself sick in the secret of my dorm room every night. At this point, the constant thoughts I had every second were how much I hated my body and myself. I remember praying to God every day and night as I spent hours crying and laying in bed that I didn’t care what I looked like anymore. I just want to be happy and content again, the way I used to be. I literally couldn’t think of anything else. I went to student health on campus and my doctor had diagnosed me with depression and wanted me to start taking antidepressant medications.
My mom considered pulling me out of school and moving me home due to a history of suicide in our family. Now, I was at an unhealthy weight of 169lbs, 35lbs heavier than I once was.
That month, I found CrossFit COMO.
It didn’t take long for me to get hooked. I found the competition I was missing again. I wanted to be the best again. I started to feel a sense of community with the people in the gym. I began opening up again. Leading others again.
Confident in some of my abilities again.
I began to actually eat good, wholesome foods again. Not to look a certain way but so I could PR my lifts more often.
Performance and strength became more important to me than the way my body looked.
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I still cared but it wasn’t consuming my every thought.
With that, I began to see small changes in my body as a side effect. I decided to get my CF-L1 and I was blessed enough to get hired as a coach at CrossFit COMO shortly after. I started realizing I was now being looked up to as a coach, not just another athlete. I recently have changed my eating habits even more so that I can look the part as well. But it isn’t consuming my life like it once had. I have started eating intuitively. I eat good foods when I’m hungry, and if I want ice cream or a burger I go get it. I don’t let it run my life or stress me out like it once had. I now maintain from about 147lbs to 150lbs. I’m still way heavier than what I used to be but my body is capable of so much more than what it was, even when I was a 3 sport athlete. I’m finally at a point where I’m happy with myself again. Content. I don’t look at pictures of myself or look in the mirror in disgust with the fat on my face or my body anymore. I know this is a constant process, and it took me about 2 years to realize that.
It took me 2 years to realize the scale doesn’t matter.
I’ll never apologize for yelling out loudly in encouragement for someone because that is the outgoing girl I finally found again.
This isn’t about changing your diet or exercise regimen. This is about finding that place in your life that you’re finally content and confident in who you are. I promise once that happens, you’re going to see changes in your attitude, performance, body, and relationships.
I thank God that I found CrossFit because I have no idea the slippery slope I would have continued down if I hadn’t.
CROSSFIT IS MY REFUGE.